Seven Phoenix Student-Athletes Earn Academic All-League Honors

Courtesy: Green Bay Athletics
         
Release: April 24, 2012
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Seven Phoenix student-athletes were selected to receive Winter Academic All-Horizon League honors.

By: Ryan Hartwig (@RyanHartwig)
GreenBayPhoenix.com

GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Seven UW-Green Bay student-athletes from three sport programs were selected as members of the 2011-12 Winter Academic All-Horizon League Teams, the conference office announced on Tuesday. The teams were determined by a balloting of the league's faculty athletics representatives and communications directors.

Leading the way for the Phoenix was the women's swimming and diving program, which landed four on the academic all-league squad. Two from men's swimming and diving were also honored, while senior Julie Wojta (Francis Creek, Wis.) from women's basketball rounded out Green Bay's honorees.

Lauren Caruso (DeForest, Wis.), Kendra Rottier (Green Bay, Wis.), Carrie Dinelli (Northbrook, Ill.) and  Jessica Stolfi (Kenosha, Wis.) took four of the 18 spots on the women's swimming and diving academic all-league team after strong seasons both in the pool and in the classroom. The quartet helped the Phoenix to a third-place finish at the 2012 Horizon League Championships while all holding at least a 3.7 GPAs. Mitchell Spaeth (Fredonia, Wis.) and Brian Heiser (McFarland, Wis.) were honored on the men's side, aiding the Phoenix to a fifth-place finish at the conference meet in addition to excelling academically.

Academic All-Horizon League marks yet another honor on the long list of achievements this season by Wojta, who earned a spot on the five-member women's basketball squad. Wojta, who makes her second straight appearance on the list, holds a 3.58 cumulative grade-point average as a business administration and accounting major and is also a Capitol One Second Team Academic All-American and CoSIDA Academic All-District 6 selection.

The most decorated Green Bay women's basketball player in program history, Wojta was recently selected as the 18th overall pick by the Minnesota Lynx in the second round of the WNBA Draft. Wojta was also selected as one of five John R. Wooden All-Americans in addition to being named AP Second Team All-America, a Wade Trophy Finalist and Horizon League Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-League.

This season, the team MVP led seventh-seeded Green Bay to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive season. Wojta posted a double-double performance in her final game against No. 2 seed Kentucky, grabbing an NCAA program-best 10 steals while pouring in 16 points. For more on Wojta's career accomplishments, click here.

Caruso, a senior majoring in human biology and Spanish, picked up academic all-league honors for the second consecutive season on Tuesday. The four-year Phoenix standout earned a pair of top-eight finishes at the 2012 Horizon League meet, placing fourth in the 200 breaststroke (2:19.83) and fifth in the 400 IM (4:30.11) while carrying a 3.859 GPA.

Rottier shattered five school records and won three individual conference championships in 2011-12, all while maintaining a 3.739 GPA as a mathematics major. The sophomore snapped the Green Bay standards in the 500 free (4:52.88), 1000 free (10:03.79), 1650 free (16:47.23), 200 fly (2:02.81) and 800 free relay (7:27.18), and also cruised to league titles in the 500, 1000 and 1650 freestyle races.

Dinelli, a sophomore human biology major, dove her way to a fourth-place finish in the 3-meter event at the 2012 Horizon League Championships with a score of 247.90. The owner of a 3.875 GPA, Dinelli also earned a solid finish on the low board, placing 11th with a total of 232.65.

Stolfi, who boasts an impressive 3.93 GPA as a biology major, placed seventh in the 1-meter diving competition (212.00) at the conference championships in addition to a 12th-place finish on the 3-meter board (222.60). Stolfi's 3.93 GPA is the third-highest on the 18-member academic all-league team.

Spaeth earned one of the 17 spots on the men's swimming and diving list after a solid year on the diving boards while maintaining a 3.532 cumulative GPA. The junior business administration major qualified for the NCAA Zone 'D' Diving Championships in March and also earned a pair of high finishes at the 2012 Horizon League Championships. Spaeth, who along with Wojta and Caruso earns his second straight all-academic team nod, finished third (328.65) on the 1-meter board and sixth (283.80) in the 3-meter event at the conference meet.

A sophomore business administration major, Heiser holds a perfect 4.0 GPA and is quickly becoming one of Green Bay's top young swimmers on the men's side. Heiser earned two top-eight finishes at the 2012 Horizon League Championships, placing eighth in the 400 IM (4:05.42) and the 200 backstroke (1:53.31). Heiser is one of just three student-athletes on the winter academic all-league teams with an unblemished 4.0 GPA.

In all, a total of 76 Horizon League student-athletes from six winter sports - men's and women's basketball, men's and women's swimming and diving and men's and women's indoor track and field - received academic all-league honors. Despite not offering indoor track and field, Green Bay's seven selections were just six off Milwaukee's league-high 13 and just two off of the second-place total of nine held by Cleveland State, UIC and Valparaiso.

For a complete list of the 2011-12 Winter Academic All-Horizon League Teams, click here.

The Horizon League recognizes student-athletes with seasonal Academic All-League Teams in each of its 19 championship sports. To be eligible for Academic All-Horizon League consideration, a student-athlete must have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.20 or higher and have completed at least one year at the member institution, having earned 24 credits.

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